My Only Resolution For 2014

All these years, my new year resolutions have been a bunch of random goals that were designed to fail.

For 2014, instead of having multiple unrelated resolutions, I have decided to go with a single one that is geared toward bringing about a focused lifestyle change instead of patching up this issue or that.

My main resolution for this year is to reduce my reliance on the Internet.

To accomplish that, I have defined a few sub-resolutions. The important thing is that I know that I will slip up once in a while, and that’s absolutely okay. But I’ll do my best to stick to those mini-goals for at least 80% of the time. Here they are at a glance.

Mini-Resolution #1: I will stay completely offline for at least two Sundays every month.

This one has stemmed from my recent absolute digital disconnect, which showed me how scarily dependent I’m on my online life. I would like to undo that dependence bit by bit. That’s all.

Mini-Resolution #2: I will make fewer, and more mindful, online financial transactions.

I have ordered plenty of products online, most of them unnecessary in hindsight. Several of them were also quite different from the advertised versions, or at least different from how I envisioned them.

The products I bought did appear useful when I was purchasing them, because they seemed to be solutions to various problems I had.

When I look back, I realize that I had mostly let myself be fooled into imagining said problems because I couldn’t seem to resist the glossy e-commerce offerings that promised fixes for them. The ease of buying online made things worse, because it diluted the reluctance that usually comes while buying stuff with cold, hard cash.

All in all, I flushed a lot of money down the drain. Off the top of my head, here’s what I wasted my money on in 2013:

I’m sure there were a few more items that I’m not able to recall now. As you can see, I spent all that money for nothing. So this year, I’ll be limiting my online transactions to banking, bill payment, web hosting, getting paid, and the rare product that cannot be purchased in a physical store or is much cheaper on the Web.

No more tempting Fiverr gigs and no more shiny services that solve problems I don’t have.

Mini-Resolution #3: I will scale down my use of gadgets and apps.

I’m mentally and visually exhausted by the number of sites I visit or I have registered on. Add to that the sheer amount of content I have been consuming on a regular basis for the past several years and I’m more than ready to give up the Internet to escape that content, except that I can’t because I’m also addicted to it.

In 2014, I’ll do my best to unsubscribe, delete, and unregister, a lot more than I have already done in 2013. I’ll also try hard to remember that it’s okay that there are writers I haven’t read, videos I haven’t watched, photos I haven’t seen, and conversations that I have not taken part in.

Wherever possible, I’ll remove my stuff from the cloud instead of putting it there. That includes photos and portable apps. I’ll also switch from a postpaid to a prepaid cellphone connection. Once I get my tablet optimized, I’ll see if I can give up my laptop entirely and rely only on my tablet for all my work.

Mini-Resolution #4: I will switch from eBooks to printed ones

Having access to so many eBooks at the click of a button just serves to remind me constantly that there’s so much I haven’t read. The reminder doesn’t motivate me to read more, as it did in the case of printed books, but only puts me into a state of panic. So from now on, as far as possible, I’ll read paperbacks and hardbacks.

Reducing my reliance on the Internet - that’s my only resolution for 2014.

The sub-resolutions are just steps to help me follow through on the main one. I’ll write about the highlights of my progress in a monthly post. And I’d love to hear how you’re faring with your new year resolutions.

Undustrial Revolution - The Writings of Akshata
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